Thursday, March 6, 2008

ELECTION 2008: 12th polls a crucial milestone for nationhood

ELECTION 2008: 12th polls a crucial milestone for nationhood
By Teresa Yong
06 March, 2008

The 12th general election is a crucial milestone in Malaysia’s road to nationhood, president of the Association of Chinese Chambers of Commerce Malaysia Tan Sri William Cheng said today. He said although much had been achieved in various sectors in the last five decades, the important and relevant thing to do now is to review and evaluate the lessons learnt.“Malaysia has to speed up its pace of development in the face of stiff global competition. We must explore the future direction from a macro point of view. Malaysia has to adopt a more liberal and open policy to stay competitive and viable,” he said.Cheng said the setting up of the Special Task Force to Facilitate Business (Permudah), using focus groups to power Malaysia into the top 10 of the World Bank’s Doing Business ranking had helped speed up the delivery system. But the implementation on the ground had to be closely scrutinised, he added. He spoke of the urgent for education and training of the country’s human resources to meet the demand of domestic and foreign investments.On his expectations from the general election, he said the democratic system and economic development must progress hand-in-hand so that economic development would enjoy a more liberal and wider space.“A more liberal and free policy will be conducive to the development of our economy and enhance its competitiveness. It will also promote racial harmony,” he said.He said Malaysia’s pace of development in the past few years was lagging its neighbours. “We have to move faster. We need to change our mindset, review our policy and start afresh. So long as the direction is right, we will be able to pick up,” he added.

© Copyright 2008 The New Straits Times Press (M) Berhad. All rights reserved.

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